COURAGE is something every dad needs more of…the question becomes: “How do we develop more of it?”
We can’t out run stress. It’s simply a fact of our daily lives. The idea that we “eliminate” stress from our life sounds great, but that means cutting out the parts that are most meaningful. Think about it: the parts of our lives that make us who we really are come from areas that bring stress: our work, our kids, our significant others. These aren’t “bad” stressors, but they are part of our lives. It’s not a matter of cutting these areas out, but a matter of how we handle them.
Always Darkest Before the Dawn
Truth. All too often, we get caught up in the negativity of our circumstances and fail to see what good might actually come out of them. Our mind will take us where we lead it. If we choose to ask questions like “why did this happen to me?” or “what did I do to deserve this?” we certainly will find ourselves at the end of a self-destructive spiral of pity and self-loathing. Yuck, we’ve all been there. But, if we choose instead to view a circumstance from a state of abundance instead of scarcity, we just might see that our “negative” circumstances have a lot to teach us.
What are You Feeding?
Our attitude about stress is all about what we choose to feed: fear or courage. We’ve talked about feeding the Fear or the Courage Wolf before and this is exactly what we have been encouraging. Choosing to nurture the Courage Wolf through affirmation statements gives us the strength to get through the circumstance and persevere. Whereas feeding the Fear Wolf only strengthens our stress, making us anxious and eventually paralyzing us from taking any positive action.
Choosing the Statement
It doesn’t have to be complicated. A simple phrase like, “I’ve got this” in moments of even the greatest doubts will trigger our minds to think in a state of positive action. Navy Seals even use these statements to get through their most difficult moments in training and the field (see the Mark Divine episode for more!). Like anything in life, how we confront stress is how our mind and body will respond. What it boils down to is the fact that we simply don’t give our minds enough credit for what they are really capable of.
It’s About the Questions
And what it also comes down to are the questions we ask ourselves. Really, how positive is it to ask ourselves, “what did I do to get here?”. After this question, your mind will tell you EXACTLY what you did to get “here”. Because our minds go where we ask them to go, we tend to lead them down a negative path with this line of questioning. A better, more positive question might be, “what can I learn from this event?”. Through this type of questioning we will find ourselves better poised to handle whatever the stressor might be and learn from it for the next time around.
We’ve just touched the surface here. Knowing that we, as men, face the societal challenge to be strong and unbending, we tend to shy away from anything that others might perceive as “weak”. But instead of suffering in silence from these stressors, learning to reprogram how we deal with them will only strengthen our relationships and better our lives.
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